By: Claire Allison
Looking for a change? Something trendy or fun to put some pep in your step? Let’s talk about hair!
If you’re anything like me, you see your hair as your crown! I love trying new styles, colors, accessories, and EASY ways to create a new look and give yourself some confidence. In this article, I am mostly going to focus on hair extensions to boost your hair game! I also give a ton of ideas that you might have forgotten about that are much more temporary and affordable!
So, why would someone want to get extensions? They are a nice way to add some length to your hair if it has trouble growing. They can also add some thickness/volume for some of you who might have thin hair! Maybe you are just looking for something fun and new! Regardless, there are plenty of options out there that will suit your needs. When making a decision as to which kind you want, you want to first establish what you are willing to pay, the maintenance plan you are comfortable with, the thickness/texture of your hair, and how long you intend to wear them. I would definitely recommend consulting with a professional to come up with a plan that works best for you and will give you the locks of your dreams!
Here are the different types of extensions I will discuss:
- Clip ins
- Pre-bonded/Fusion Hair Extensions
Now, how do you decide?!
Some techniques might be better than others depending on your natural hair type. Tape-ins are best for people with thin or fine hair. I can definitely back this up, as my hair is very thin. The flatness of the tape allows them to be undetectable, make my hair look natural, and keep my natural hair out (not in a braid or sewn with the hair). Pre-bonded/fusion and clip ins are typically best for people with medium or thick hair. A weave is best for those with thick/curly or coarse hair. Again, I would highly recommend consulting a professional before making a decision
Maintenance/Duration of Wear:
How long do you want to keep them in? (ex: for a music festival, wedding, some other event vs. a look you want to rock for several months) If it is just for a single event, I would recommend clip-ins because they are the cheapest and will do the job perfectly. Clip-ins could definitely work for more long-term use, but from my experience, they were not comfortable, and it was a hassle to keep taking them in and out all of the time! Anything that requires beads or tape will need to be adjusted every 4-6 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. A weave is actually sewn into your head, so these are fairly permanent. Fusion hair extensions are applied with glue and would need adjusting every 3-4 months.
How much are you willing to pay?
- Clip ins: These are the least permanent option as you can take them out and move them around easily, therefore they are the cheapest. A full set of human hair is ~$200. Make sure you get human hair if you want to be able to color, straighten or curl them; this will also look the most natural. Also consider the price to take them to a professional to get them blended with your natural hair (color and/or cut).
- Tape-Ins: What I currently have and I love them! These must be applied by a professional. The cost of the extensions themselves were ~$200 and then you have to consider an additional fee to actually get them placed on your head by the hairstylist. Also consider an additional fee to color your actual hair to get them to match the extension color you chose! After that, you will need to see your hairstylist every 4-6 weeks to get them moved up again and to color your actual hair again to match (if needed). The maintenance/replacement will also cost ~$100. All-together, for my first visit (buying the extensions, getting them placed, and coloring my actual hair to match) cost ~$450. My maintenance appointments are ~$150. These prices may vary depending on the length of the extensions you chose and the particular salon you go to!
- Weave: This must be applied by a professional and is usually best for people with thick/curly or coarse hair, as they require more hair to mask. Essentially, your actual hair is braided into cornrows and the weave is attached and sewn into place. This can be quite costly as well (~$800-1k) and takes many hours (like 6 hours), but it is the most permanent form of extensions as they are seamless and actually sewn to your head!
- NBR stands for Non-Beaded Rows: This would be my preferred method for extensions, but it does cost ~$1200 plus maintenance appointments every 4-6 weeks. This technique gives you the most natural, full look and is the least damaging for your hair.
- Pre-bonded/fusion Extensions: This technique requires glue adhesive and takes about 3-4 hours. If your hair is already somewhat damaged, then you may not be an ideal candidate for this. This technique is fairly damaging to your natural hair because the glue contains chemicals that may cause breakage, loss of hair, or just irritate your scalp! The maintenance for this technique is much less intense, as you would only need them moved every 3-4 months. These can cost anywhere from $800-1400.
- Halo Extensions: This is a fairly new technique, as the hair extensions are basically like a headband! You might be skeptical since they don’t require any sewing, beads, clips, or adhesives. The key is the angle you put the halo on. It should rest right under where the back of your head curves out. They are designed to fit perfectly to your head and are not detectable as the top half of your hair covers it! I just found out about this and I am definitely going to give this option a try once my tape-ins have worn out.